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Visceral infatuation


Emily N



Emily N
00:00 / 03:04

Tender, succulent, melt-in-your-mouth.


I could sit and chew forever here,


pearly enamel blades on plum-red sinew.

It's hard not to grin

at the irony of my meal, a pie-chart steak

with its "50% off!"

garnishings and 100% perfection,

grade A beef

that pumps you with serotonin

the explosive feeling of acing

a math test.

It's fine dining like you've never seen before, folks.

You wouldn't put a dirty rag in your mouth, so why

would you settle for anything less than

the upper echelon of quality

patented produce?

But you don't deserve your grade.

It's not hard to see you've been cheated,

the only thing "perfect" about your score

is that you've been copying natural talent

like a sick parrot, tracing

striated muscle and cloning stem cells

in a cruel dissection.

I can't bear to watch the cassette,

to rewind and remind myself of when we discovered

we could play God,

mock Mother Nature

and indulge

in our last supper.

Across the velvet floor, two women

no younger than thirty, clink their glasses

to the heartbeat of Mother’s womb

we dine.

On closer inspection, their necks

are clotted with burgundy feathers, their lips

pulled back into sharp beaks.

In place of silver cutlery, scalpel-sharp

talons dig, and this

new scene unravels before me like a red carpet;

like a long, licking tongue. Vultures,

the women feast greedily

on the spoils of the land, sweet carrion

blotting their lipstick.

I lurch forward, choosing flight

when the primal urge to run,

or vomit, erupts.

I am aware of every bone pressing

under my flesh, every muscle

pulsating with heat. My lungs

prickle and buzz like a harmonica

I don't remember playing. But oh,

muscle memory will never leave,

once it tastes death.

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